Mystery project with violinist lands Florida recording studio on Taylor Swift’s album ‘Folklore’

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POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — What does Lakeland, Florida, and singer and songwriter Taylor Swift have in common? The answer is violinist Bobby Hawk and Sound House Studios

Hawk, a session player based out of New York City, was recently quarantining with his parents in Winter Haven, Florida, when he was given a mystery project from producer Jack Antonoff and needed somewhere to record.

“Even though we didn’t know exactly what we were working on, definitely with him, you kind of know that it’s all high-caliber stuff,” said Hawk.

In late July, Swift released her No. 1 album “Folklore.” That’s when they learned their mystery project landed them a spot on the superstar’s album. 

“It’s just exciting and we actually, none of us, knew what we were working on either. And it was such a last-minute thing that she just … I kind of like how she just dropped it. So last minute, just kind of gave everybody a little bit of informal notice,” said Hawk. “This is a huge jump for me and for I think everybody involved.”

Jonathan Gautier, owner and producer at Sound House, and engineer Mike Williams have all kinds of clients, from gospel singers to punk rockers.

But when Hawk, a seasoned violinist, booked a session, they didn’t know what to expect.

“He started getting mystery projects from his producer friend, Jack Antonoff, and they would just come to us labeled kind of just like ‘for Rob’ or ‘Project X.’ Then he’d be like, ‘Hey, I got to track violin over this. Can we book an hour or two?’ So, he come in, record for an hour or two, and then I’d send them off into the ether never know where they went,” said Williams. 

“We didn’t know at all like that what we were recording was going to be on something that big,” said Gautier. 

Hawk and Sound House Studios both have a credit in the album’s liner notes. Hawk can be heard on various tracks such as “August,” “My Tears Ricochet” and “This is Me Trying.”

Now, much like a folklore, Sound House is honored to be a part of a greater message. 

“Our job is to make sure that the music that’s inside of your head gets out into the world especially during a time like this, in this crazy season of pandemic, people just need something that has a good message,” said Gautier. “Whatever that message, whether it’s hope or whether it’s something that people can relate to, we just like to be a part of that any way we can.”

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